—Haley Harada, Staff Writer—
The first day of the new year was kicked off by a group of 300+ women who work in the entertainment industry introducing the ‘Times Up’ movement via an open letter. The ‘Times Up’ organization’s main goal is to put an end to sexual harassment and assault in the workplace while also providing the funds necessary for the victims to pursue their cases through the organization’s legal defense fund. As a way to give the movement more exposure, the majority of people attending the Golden Globes wore black and a ‘times up’ pin attached to their clothing.
This movement quickly took over the Golden Globes and became the topic of the night. Not only did the celebrities attending dress for the occasion, but they also took the opportunity to use their interviews and award speeches as a way to shed light on what is going on. While this was widely accepted and praised, it has also faced some backlash from people who have said that they’re not actually achieving anything by wearing black. However, this isn’t necessarily true. The #WhyWeWearBlack movement was a way to capture the public’s attention and draw more exposure towards the cause- which it definitely did do.
Hundreds of celebrities have taken the opportunity to use their platforms as a way to spread awareness as well as standing in solidarity with all of the men and women who have fallen victim to sexual assault. Within the first week, these celebrities, along with people from across the world, have raised over $15 million for a legal defense fund that is open for anyone to donate to. This money will go towards paying the victims legal fees. While this movement’s main focus is sexual assault- it also focuses on discrimination in the workplace. In the ‘Times Up’ open letter, it states that “[…] In addition, we seek equal opportunities, representation, benefits, and pay for all women workers, not to mention greater representation of women of color, immigrant women, disabled women, and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women, whose experiences in the workforce are significantly worse than their white, cisgender, straight peers. The struggle for women to break in, rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in the male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly.” and that “we particularly want to lift up the voices, power, and strength of women working in low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation.”
While the majority of people participating in this movement are doing it because they recognize that this is a very real issue and genuinely want to help, some are doing it as a way to gain positive publicity while continuing to do the exact thing that they’re fighting against. An example of this- James Franco, who has allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted multiple girls, still showed up to the Golden Globes wearing a ‘times up’ pin. It’s important to educate yourself and be aware of what’s going on behind the scenes and to not just take it as face value. An example that shows how women are not treated the same as men in the workplace is this- Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams were paid to re-shoot scenes from a movie that they’re both apart of- while Wahlberg was payed $1.5 million, Williams was paid less than $1,000.
It is clear that gender inequality and sexual harassment is still a very prominent issue in today’s society and something that is no longer being tolerated. As the Time’s Up movement says, “No more silence. No more waiting. No more tolerance for discrimination, harassment or abuse. TIMES UP.”